3 Secrets to a GREAT Backstroke Pull:
Looking for a way to improve your Backstroke pull, but not really sure how? Well get ready, because in our next series we are going to fully dissect the Backstroke pull to get you swimming Backstroke faster down the pool.
Let’s go ahead and get started…
Just like we discussed in Freestyle, Backstroke is a long-axis stroke. What that means is swimmers will rotate around their longitudinal axis. Your longitudinal axis is the axis that cuts your body in half from the top of your head down through your belly button to between your toes. Read our blog post discussing the similarities of Freestyle and Backstroke here.
Understanding the rotational aspect of Backstroke is really important, as it does help improve the power of each of your pulls if a swimmer rotates correctly. Check out the video below on my analogy of rotation being similar to that of a washing machine.
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Obviously though, the rotation itself is not what moves swimmers down the pool—it’s their pull and kick. So let’s dive deeper into how to improve your Backstroke pull:
1.) Keep the Pull SHALLOW!
All of the World’s Greatest Backstrokers are now pulling very shallow. It’s very similar to swimmers pulling on the lane line with the hand THAT close to the surface of the water. Ideally, you want a swimmer to enter into the water with their pinky and IMMEDIATELY bend the elbow—keeping the arm close to the body with the elbow being the deepest point.
From there, you begin to MOVE the forearm and palm down towards the feet—eventually finishing with the elbow (see video below).
2.) Keep the Pulling Pattern STRAIGHT!
The fastest way to get from A to Z is a straight line. This same thought applies here. After you setup for the pull like we discussed in point 1, swimmers needs to get their hand down passed their hips as quick as possible—that is done through a straight line.
3.) Finish the Pull with the Palm FACING DOWN!
A lot of times swimmers aren’t actually taught this technical component of the Backstroke pull—AND, all the World’s Best Backstrokers do it.
When swimmers finish their pulls, they need to make sure they pronate the forearm and finish the palm facing towards the bottom. It’s basically like their pushing the rest of the water down towards their thighs and the bottom of the pool (see below).
Be sure to stay tuned for Part II of our series on the Backstroke Pull—NEXT WEEK!
Until Next Time,